QE3: Fed To Launch New Program — Dubbed "Operation Twist"

19/09/2011 18:54

Source: CNBC

The Fed in the week ahead is widely expected to pull the trigger on a new easing program, as the European debt crisis continues to boil. The housing market will also be a focus when new and existing home sales data is released Tuesday and Wednesday. New data this past week showed a , signaling that a big wave of foreclosed properties will hit the struggling housing market early next year. 
jump in foreclosure starts

 The Dow and S&P 500 had their best week since July and second best week since July 2010, as European officials showed support for Greece. The Nasdaq did even better — jumping 6.3 percent, for its best week since July, 2009.

Market expectations are high that the Fed will announce a new program — dubbed "operation twist" — at the end of its two-day meeting Wednesday.

"Twist" is different than the much larger scale "QE2" quantitative easing program which involved the purchase of $600 billion in Treasury securities. Fed watchers expect this program to raise the duration of the securities the Fed holds, not the amount. The program, in theory, could reduce long-term interest rates as the Fed buys more securities in the middle and longer end of the yield curve.

"It's not their job to bail out the whole world, but next week there's high expectations for the Fed," said Nomura Americas Treasury strategist George Goncalves. The Fed this past week joined with the European Central Bank and others to provide more dollar liquidity for euro zone financial institutions.

European finance ministers ended their meeting in Poland with no signs of progress in handling the sovereign debt crisis. Some traders were looking for the officials to provide some clarity on the purchases of sovereign debt, which so far has fallen to the ECB. The euro zone countries are in the process of voting on enhancing the powers of the European Financial Stabilization Facility bailout fund, or EFSF.

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